ACT News

Canberra man bailed on charges of arson and destroying evidence

A Canberra man accused of lighting a stolen car on fire has been granted bail.

Harley Dean Stott, 22, appeared before the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday wearing an orange fluoro jumper, navy tracksuit pants and socks, but no shoes.

He was charged with arson and destroying evidence and had not yet entered a plea.

Police allege that at about 2.30am one morning last February, a CCTV camera on Dalziel Street, Gowrie, captured a gold Subaru Impreza approach a house.

At about the same time, at least four shots were fired at the house, police say.

Later that morning, a man driving on Mountain Creek Road saw what he described as a gold WRX parked on Sherwood Lane, Coree, and a blue hatchback 100 metres behind it.

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When he pulled up to the blue car he saw a man and a woman, who told him they were waiting for a friend to fix the man's car, police allege.

When he returned about five minutes later, he saw the gold car on fire and called triple-zero.

After the fire was extinguished, AFP Forensic Services examined the car and found a black lid ring that looked to be from a jerry can.

Forensic testing on the ring found male DNA which was 40,000 times more likely to belong to Stott than to another randomly selected Caucasian man, police allege.

At about 1.30pm, the owner of the gold Impreza reported it stolen.

Police officers recovered the licence plates from the burned car, which matched those of the car reported stolen.

Prosecution opposed bail on the grounds Stott posed a risk of not appearing.

But Magistrate Bernadette Boss​ granted bail and imposed conditions on Stott that he report to Woden Police Station three times a week and not contact a list of more than 20 people associated with the charges.

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